Around the world in 2015

Former PR professional Sachin Bhandary is seeking crowdfunding for The 12 Project, an initiative which will see him travelling across 12 countries in 2015, doing 12 things he never thought he would ever do

On his 32nd birthday (November 25), PR professional Sachin Bhandary finally decided to chuck his job that he was devoted to for eight years. Come January 15, 2015, he will embark on a year-long, crowdfunded trip, which will see him travel across 12 countries and do 12 unexpected things.

Scuba diving is one of the items on his itinerary.
Scuba diving is one of the items on his itinerary. Representative pics

Bhandary admits that he was always passionate about travel books and odd travel projects. Even at 24, he reminisces, he had promised to himself that he would pursue such a trip some day.

Cycling from New Orleans to New York is the activity for December
Cycling from New Orleans to New York is the activity for December

“In 2010, I backpacked across Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia for 45 days. Last year, I suggested to my mother that we backpack through Europe and to my shock, she agreed! It was the best time of our lives; we discovered many things about each other and stayed with locals,” he shares.

As part of the trip, Sachin will walk amidst the mountains in Peru
As part of the trip, Sachin will walk amidst the mountains in Peru

Travel matters
Bhandary, who calls himself as The Odd Traveller, on his website and social networking accounts, emphasises that his mission is to popularise the concept of ‘odd travels’ and build a community around it: “Odd travels are nothing but interesting travel projects, which result in learning. Travel is, after all, the best teacher.”

Sachin Bhandary
Sachin Bhandary

During his trip to Europe he came up with a concept called ‘Things That Will Disappear’ which aimed to combine travelling the world and documenting people and languages that could disappear in a fast-paced world.

“But I realised that I did not have the resources and the time to research that project. That is when The 12 Project struck me,” he observes, adding, “In the future, with the help of adventure brands, we could look at funding creative projects by other Odd Travellers.”

Some of the items on the itinerary are about conquering phobias, while others are about discovering new places. Bhandary will be documenting his journeys via his blog and social networking sites. “To me, this is like storytelling while using yourself as the subject,” he observes.

Through crowdfunding, Bhandary is hoping to raise '15 lakh; so far, he has collected '65,000. “Even if I fall short, I will start the project with my savings and depend on the kindness of people to see me through. That is exactly what I have done till now,” he concludes.

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Travel itinerary

January: Travelling across India via Indian Railways.
February: Searching for stories of Tamil-Sinhala friendship in Sri Lanka.
March: Getting good at rock climbing in 30 days in Railay, Thailand.
April: Learning the Batucada drums in Bahia, Brazil, and comparing them with the Nashik Dhol.
May: Scared of the sea, but will learn surfing in a month in Arica, Chile.
June: Walking through the mountains for a month in Peru.
July: Investigating drugs and the trade around it in Colombia.
August: Scuba diving in Costa Rica.
September: Learning to cook in a Mexican village in 30 days.
October: Can’t dance but will try to become a pro at Salsa in Puerto Rico.
November: Cycling from New Orleans to New York.
December: Failed stand-up comic, but will be on the NY stand-up stage, every night for 30 nights.

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